Over the years, government and development partners have made significant efforts in addressing the myriad of challenges in health sector and the food system.
While these developments in food production, food access, consumption patterns, and access to health care services are impressive and should be widely acknowledged, there is room for much more to be done.
Bayer which is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection, and non-agricultural pest control has been at the forefront in championing improved health and food systems.
Bayer’s Corporate Engagement Lead, Jimmy Kiberu explains, “At Bayer, we’re excited about the future and all its possibilities. Advancing health and nutrition is what we do best and care about most. The solutions we create will advance life tomorrow and help people and the planet to thrive. We believe we must strive for a better tomorrow, so we can all live life to its full potential.”
On 3rd October 2018, in partnership with PanAfricare and Bayer, the IMPACT Program was launched in Turkana County. With a US $5 million financial commitment from the Bayer Fund, PanAfricare is implementing the Improved Approach to Community-based Nutrition (IMPACT) in Turkana County. The five-year Program aimed to advance a multi-sectoral integrated response to improve nutrition and access to healthy foods for mothers and young children in the County.
Through a three-component model, the IMPACT Program addresses both the underlying and systemic causes of malnutrition. The first model is a nutrition improvement model that seeks to scale up nutrition-specific interventions to the target population by building the nutrition capacity of health service providers and ensuring adequate nutrition promotion at the household level; Acknowledging that nutrition-specific interventions alone are not adequate to eliminate undernutrition.
The second and third components address underlying causes of malnutrition through nutrition-sensitive approaches specifically agriculture and water programs to ensure the targeted households have access to diversified nutrient-rich foods.
The program was targeted to benefit two wards of Turkana County (Katilu and Turkwel). The baseline survey conducted by PanAfricare indicated the two wards had great agricultural potential and yet it registered very high rates of malnutrition among children especially those under the age of five.
This is what necessitated the IMPACT Program being implemented in the two wards targeting infants, pregnant women, and those at childbearing age.
“At Bayer, Health for all, Hunger for None is our guiding principle. With people living longer and the population growing, everyone wants to stay healthy and have enough to eat. This is a huge challenge for the global community – and it’s what motivates and drives us at Bayer.” Said Anthony Maina, Bayer’s Head of Communications Southeast Africa Region.
“In Africa, we continue to work closely with stakeholders in the agriculture and health sector. We are in the process of significantly increasing our activity in the region especially in the charitable sector. We believe it is a sector we must invest in to be successful in the coming years.” He added.
In the two years, the IMPACT Program has been implemented, there is significant progress made. Jimmy Kiberu adds “We believe investments made in Agriculture and Health in Turkana County will pay off. At Bayer every day we put our knowledge and skills to work on behalf of humankind, inventing and delivering products that help make life just a little better. That’s essentially what we’re all about.”